I have just spent the last 25 minutes scurrying around looking for something. I hate to lose things, and I lose things often. I spend a lot of my time in the classroom wondering where I laid something down– the thing that was just in my hand a moment ago before I got interrupted by a student, or a coworker, or another thought about the other five things that I should be doing instead of what I am doing. Losing things instantly disrupts the calm, peaceful, patient and methodical me I have prayed into being at the start of the day. Usually this happens within the first five minutes of having arrived at school.
Today I was looking for CDs. Three brand new CDs, in fact, that I received from my loving husband at Christmas. I looked everywhere—car, study, living room, kitchen, my son’s room. He’s away at college and is always taking things and I think I remember seeing him with a CD case in hand while he was here over the holiday and boy, is he going to get it if I message him about where it is and he has it with him at school!…sigh…you know how it is. You are so irritated with yourself that you blame and pile all the anxiety of not having your life together onto someone else.
I found the CDs. Actually, it was my dear husband who found them. He looked in the drawer of our coffee table and found all three. “What made you look there?” I asked. “It was the logical place,” he replied. Grrr…Now the joy of having found is tainted. I have absolutely no memory of having put them there, but that means nothing. Someone, me or one of the kids, probably put them there to get them out of the way for our New Year’s Eve church gathering. That’s irrelevant really, though there is a dark corner of my heart that still wants to find the culprit and blame them for the half hour of stress they caused…Another sigh. That is why I still need grace and am grateful for it. The spiritual battle for my heart rages on.
Here’s the interesting thing:
While I was frantically searching, God was busy teaching.
Why, I asked myself, can’t I just let this go and go back to my cup of morning coffee and rest confidently in the assurance that the CDs will show up at some future moment in time? My answer is this: I had a plan. A plan for my morning. Quiet time with God, and then attack the long and tedious task of completing report cards, with music providing a soothing background. Now my plan is wrecked. Also, these CDs were gifts from my husband-a demonstration of his love. Losing them was more than irritating. To me, everything is symbolic. The symbolism here is that they represented gifts of love from my life partner, and losing them makes it seem as though I don’t value the gifts, or the giver. Another issue here is the anxiety that eats away at me every time I misplace something or can’t remember what I’ve done from one moment to the next. Having a parent with Alzheimer’s will do that to you. Every memory lapse is viewed as precursor to the genetically predestined dementia. And the last layer of emotional turmoil caused by lost items? The frustration and anxiety it provokes concerning how there is not enough time in my life to be the organized person I truly am at heart. Every small incident opens the floodgate to the swirling waters of responsibility in dangerous (or so it seems) disarray. The disorder eats at me. It’s not who I want to be, but life shoots past at such an alarming rate, I don’t have time to stop and reorder.
Life is not tidy. It’s not orderly. Or slow. It’s unpredictable, and far out of my control. Both the joys and the sorrows do not come in neat, orderly packages that I can remove from a shelf when I am ready for them.
*God is the Great Giver of all things. Remember not to lose His gifts in the busyness of Life (which, incidentally, is one of His precious gifts). Hold onto them. Carve out special places for them in time and be aware of where they are always. Some of His gifts that most deserve this are salvation, freedom to worship, precious church family, His word, prayerful communication, opportunities to serve and others to grow spiritually, family, Bible study. Value these gifts by giving them attention and making them a part of our lives. By this we show we value the Giver.
*Remember that God often has other uses for our time or seasons than what we have planned. Because He is the constant, this should not rock us. Trust His redirection.
*Be anxious in nothing.
Numbers 33:53 “and you shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.” (Surely THAT was a gift that resulted in a big “To-Do” list!)
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…”
Ephesians 1:3ff Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;